Before and after: from gloomy kitchen to open-plan entertaining space

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  • A stylish new extension houses a monochrome kitchen that's full of mod cons

    The owners bought this house knowing 
it would be a project. ‘Luckily, we were living with our parents, so we could crack on with the work and not have to live with all the mess.’ As the couple were planning their wedding at the same time, they decided to use that date as a completion goal, so they would be able to move in straight after their honeymoon.

    The kitchen was originally a very small galley design, which was the big incentive to extend the back of the house and create a larger space that would work for the couple and their lifestyle. ‘We got chatting to our neighbours – they’d also extended and they let us have a look at how they had altered the layout, so we could see if it would work for us,’ the owner recalls. ‘We decided that an extension across the back of the house would be ideal and we went for an open-plan kitchen with a dining and social space, separate laundry area 
and patio doors into the garden.’

    As soon as our architect came back with the plans, we started thinking about the layout of the kitchen. I wanted as much storage space as possible so that everything had its place and, with lots 
of ideas on the table, we had a layout planned before the build began. The extension took about four months in total to complete, which included moving water and gas supplies and fitting new windows and a skylight on the sloping roof in the dining area. Once the build was finished we were ready to get to the nitty gritty – the kitchen design!

    Does your kitchen need a makeover? Check out our kitchen ideas


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    ‘I spent ages on Instagram and Pinterest looking at Scandi-style kitchens,’ says the owner. ‘In the end we decided on a white kitchen and a metro tile splashback with dark grout. After visiting lots of showrooms, we bought our kitchen from Wren, as they really listened to everything we wanted, and we went for white gloss, as it worked perfectly for the light, streamlined look we were after.’ This Infinity Plus handleless design starts from £2,160.


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    ‘I really wanted the Neff Slide and Hide oven after seeing it on The Great British Bake Off – it’s one of my favourite shows that really inspires me in the kitchen. I wanted a wine cooler too, and the big American style fridge freezer was also on my wish list. Thankfully, Wren were able to supply everything the couple wanted, which saved them a lot of hassle. I love my wine cooler – it fits so neatly into the design.’

    The couple liked the idea of a polished concrete floor, but it cost too much. Instead, they found some extra-large floor tiles that had a similar effect. And although they tried to stick to a monochrome scheme, they couldn’t resist adding a few pastel accessories, including a baby blue mixing bowl.

    Get the look
    Buy now: CDA FWC303SS Wine Cooler – Stainless Steel, £349.99, Currys
    Buy now: Neff B27CR22N1B CircoTherm® Pyrolytic Single Electric Oven, Stainless Steel, £812, John Lewis
    Buy now: Mason Cash Colour Mix Batter Bowl – Powder Blue, £15.40, Dove Mill
    Buy now: Look Pearl Gloss floor tiles, £9.98 per sq m, Tile Mountain


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Before they knew it, the kitchen was ready and the beautiful worktops they’d sourced separately from a local company were in place. ‘My father-in-law got the sink from a friend, and I sourced the black tap, which was on my wish list,’ says the owner.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Cooke & Lewis side-lever mono mixer kitchen tap in black, £57, Screwfix
    Buy now: Underground White wall tiles, £11.99 per sq m, Tile Mountain


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Another fab transformation… Before and after: See how a narrow kitchen was transformed without an extension

    Stools, light fittings and a curtain rod in black each add definition to the all-white space. ‘We finished off with some pendant lights above the breakfast bar, which 
were my favorite purchase,’ says the owner. If you’re looking to make a statement with lighting, it’s a good idea to hang them over an area you want to highlight – just as the owners have done. Guests are encouraged to help themselves to a drink from the glass dispenser while the owners are busy cooking.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Hay Hee 
bar stools, £155 each, Utility Design
    Buy now: Normann Copenhagen AMP pendant lights, £84 each, Utility Design
    Buy now: Kilner drinks dispenser, £29.99, Lakeland

    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Squeezing in a microwave at waist level has freed up space on the worktop.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Neff H12GE60N0G Built-In Microwave, Stainless Steel, £425, John Lewis


    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    These bottles were picked 
up on a holiday to New York, where the owners got married.

    Love this look? White kitchens for every style and budget

    The mono scheme is perfect for updating with new coloured accessories as the couple’s tastes change. ‘I’ve loved the process from start to finish and couldn’t be happier with the results,’ says the owner. ‘It’s exactly what we wanted – it’s so functional and stylish too, and everything has its place.’

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